Moving can be stressful for every family member – including the four-legged ones. Every animal reacts differently to new living quarters, and temperament has a lot to do with it. Some pets take a move in stride, while others exhibit anxiety or insecurity for days or weeks.
Here are 5 things to consider as the big move approaches and after you’re in your new home.
1. A Little Help from the Vet
Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on easing the transition. If your pet is generally anxious or high-strung, it might be worth asking your vet whether a mild calming medication might help during travel and the transition period in the new home.
2. Time to Explore
Upon moving in, give your pet time to explore the house gradually, rather than letting it loose to roam at will. Limit it to one area – perhaps the kitchen – for a few hours until it calms down. Show the pet where you’ve placed its familiar items like the food dish, water bowl and bed. If you have a dog, put on their leash and take them of an initial home tour. Avoid letting pets out unsupervised for several days until you’re sure they can’t climb or dig out from under the fence.
3. A Walk in the Park
Help release anxiety and pent-up energy by taking your dog for a walk and sniff through the neighbourhood. While people learn about a new place primarily by visual cues, dogs depend on their noses.
4. Helping the Feline in your Life
Territorial by nature, cats often experience more issues with moving than their canine counterparts. Keep your cat safe in its carrier upon arrival, placing it in a quiet area. When the hubbub dies down, let it out in an enclosed room away from main traffic areas. Provide your cat with familiar objects, such as a bed, litter box and toys. Encourage it to explore the room, perhaps by strategically placing cat treats.
5. Update Pet IDs
Amid the hustle and bustle of the move itself, don’t forget to update your pet’s identification information before you move. This way, if Fluffy or Fido slip out the door, anyone who finds them can easily return them to their new home. Also, some municipalities require licensing within a certain time frame of moving. If your pets are microchipped, contact the registration company and give them the new information.